I like to think we are a fairly normal family of good values and a healthy view on life, but there is one aspect we struggle on….eating together. It feels like it is just the preserve of weekends and holidays which given the amount of press on ” the family that eats together stays together” grates uncomfortably.
I clearly remember my own childhood mealtimes. We always ate together at breakfast and dinner. Dad was not unusual in having a job within our home city so he was able to eat with us, take me to school and be in the office all by that 9am start. He was always home by 6pm …Mum would always put the kettle on for a cuppa at 5 to 6 as it was always a guaranteed certainity that he would walk through the door. As a teenager there were always the usual arguments and teenage battles for independence but we were still sitting around the table with a pot of tea and dinner to resolve them.
It is thought that family meal times are a rarity these days . It is suggested that if we eat together a minimum of twice a week that we hold onto those family bonds…Well thats ok then isn’t it? This makes me shudder at the thought of just two meals keeps us as a unit, when in reality that can last all of 10 minutes which is 20 minutes of togetherness a week which just not seem enough!
Sadly real life kicks in rather than my ideal of the 1980’s bisto advert of a family consistently around the table. Jobs are fewer and far between, Mums and Dads have to commute further for work, work shifts and need to give over their offspring to childcare establishments until late. The government talks about the fragmentation of society and puts in endless schemes to try and repair it but I really believe it probably starts at home with a simple meal all together.
So I am going to end my morning standing on soap box, go downstairs and whip up some pancakes ( ran out of bread and porridge!) , bacon and maple syrup then relish sitting with my family for a good lengthy breakfast with probably some arguments with the 5 year old on sitting still. This is where it all starts and hopefully fingers crossed holds us , along with the rest of family life, as a tight unit of four and instills values in our children for their precious futures.